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Opera 2019-20

John Adams - At the Théâtre de la Croix-Rousse

  • Théâtre de la Croix-Rousse
  • 1 hour50 minutes
  • In English

The stage director Macha Makéieff is taking on John Adams’s third opera, which premiered in 1995 in Berkeley. This work, between social drama and passion, set at the crossroads between an opera and a rock musical comedy, was inspired by the great pop concept albums of the 1960s.

  • 20:00
  • 20:00
  • 19:30
  • 15:00
  • 20:00
  • 20:00
  • 20:00
  • 19:30
  • 15:00


In Los Angeles, seven young Americans from varied origins (Black American, Caucasian, Asian, Hispanic) see their destinies upturned during the earthquake in 1994. This catastrophe sets off a series of situations which little by little draw a fresco of contemporary society and its contradictions.

A dark, highly charged work 
As the heir to the American minimalist school of Terry Riley, Philip Glass or Steve Reich, or else of Ravel or Debussy, John Adams marked a turning point in his career with this opera. For, here, the composer forged links with the masters who had revolutionised the musical comedy : George Gershwin and Leonard Bernstein. In an attempt, like them, to capture the popular language of his times, he naturally turned towards rock and pop, in particular in his instrumentation, so as to mingle these genres with the classical. The staging has been entrusted to a faithful friend of the Opéra de Lyon, Macha Makéieff (Paradise-Moscow, The Merry Widow, Le Bœuf sur le toit, Les Mamelles de Tirésias), who became renowned thanks to the troop “Les Deschiens”. It is a fantastical piece whose dark, highly-charged character is not without recalling the spirit of Brecht in The Threepenny Opera.

Songplay in two acts, 1995
Libretto by June Jordan

New production
As a co-production with the Théâtre de la Croix-Rousse, Lyon and La Criée, Théâtre National de Marseille



Vincent Renaud

Stage, direction, sets and costumes

Macha Makeïeff


François Menou

Instrumental ensemble

Chanteurs du Studio de l'Opéra de Lyon

My Evening